"Soldier Knives"


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Goblin
July 25, 2013, 01:00 PM
Do any of the major military services around the world still issue utility pocket knives to the troops. I would like to collect them if there are enuff different ones to make it interesting.

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Inazone
July 25, 2013, 01:08 PM
My wife just returned from overseas deployment (Army Reserves) and was issued a Gerber multi-tool but no knife. Granted, she's not in a combat MOS, so there's really no practical need for her to have a fighting knife, but I'd have to guess that the multi-tool serves the same purposes as a pocket folder and then some.

Sam Cade
July 25, 2013, 01:09 PM
Most of them do in some capacity.

The Bundeswher has issued SAKs for the last few decades.

This is the current version TTBOMK:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61MnXSvl-jL._SL1201_.jpg

hso
July 25, 2013, 02:14 PM
Sam,

I wouldn't say "most". The Swiss and Germans are probably more of an exception in issuing a folder to all troops. We don't even do it. John has pointed out he didn't see it in Afghanistan and my discussions with Allied military personnel and my staff in Iraq and Afghanistan when I was bopping back and forth from Kuwait reflected that most countries don't generally issue knives to troops.

Sam Cade
July 25, 2013, 02:33 PM
I was bopping back and forth from Kuwait reflected that most countries don't generally issue knives to troops.



Most of them do in some capacity.




I think we just said the same thing. :D

rcmodel
July 25, 2013, 02:40 PM
You could make a life-long hobby out of just collecting every make of every model of U.S. GI issue pocket knives from WWII through Vietnam.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=684826

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=684950&highlight=from+WWII+to+vietnam

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=685080

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=683218

rc

herrwalther
July 25, 2013, 03:17 PM
http://www.gerbergear.com/Military/Tools/MP600_07554

These are pretty close to what most soldiers in the US Military are issued. I had 4 when I deployed overseas and rarely used them, preferred my Leatherman Wave much more. I do believe the issued Gerber tools use the carbide insert cutters but can't be sure.

Folder or fixed blade knives are rarely issued anymore. I believe for 2 main reasons: cost and personal preference of the soldier. My unit was issued a particular Sheepsfoot Gerber knife (that I can't locate on Gerber's site) about a year or two before we deployed. Some people loved it but most hated it. Had no real point or edge retention. Was good for slicing open MRE bags or cutting 550 cord but little else. So most who didn't like them gave them to the people who did.

JShirley
July 25, 2013, 04:37 PM
All US Soldiers are now issued multitools.

It is actually a written order for certain US forces that they are not allowed to carry "conspicuous" (large) knives. I'm pretty sure it was the 3rd Army orders I saw that said this.

"Combat" troops or not, US soldiers have rarely needed "fighting knives" since the Civil War, and the Stone Mountain museum is full of examples of large bowies discarded by Confederate troops because they were too heavy- and this was still during the single-shot firearm days.

John

Brian Williams
July 25, 2013, 08:34 PM
I was a tech in the Marines and was issued a TL knife and pliers set. I also had a Mess kit knife and Demo knife.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=49206&d=1165935494

JShirley
July 25, 2013, 08:44 PM
Looks useful.

(How's that Spyderco, btw?)

John

Deltaboy
July 25, 2013, 10:35 PM
I got a Swiss SAK and it is a great knife. I wish I still had some good Calimus Steel Army Knifes.

MrCleanOK
July 26, 2013, 04:41 PM
Every deploying soldier these days is issued a Gerber multitool. I have three of them that I have been issued/found. They're crap, and the Army doesn't expect to get them back. It's pretty much a disposable item. Some units in the past bought things like auto knives for deployment, but those were the days when the money was fast and loose. The money well was dried up pretty good on my last deployment.

HoosierQ
July 26, 2013, 04:52 PM
Most of them do in some capacity.

The Bundeswher has issued SAKs for the last few decades.

This is the current version TTBOMK:


I have one of these...the US Civilian version. I was a little skeptical at first regarding the serrations. However I find I like them. Placed at the tip end vs the hilt end makes it a zip tie eating machine...or any other material similar. I put the thing to these heavy plastic handles that hold two plastic juice bottles together. Cut through there like nobody's business. I like mine and would think it a handy tool for anyone.

W.E.G.
July 26, 2013, 06:10 PM
Did the US ever really issue those orange-handled el-cheapo switchblades to paratroopers?

http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j427/wveah/waldenswblade001.jpg

rcmodel
July 26, 2013, 08:59 PM
Yes, they did issue the MC-1 switch-blade knife, but to pilots & air crews as survival knives, not paratroopers though.

They were carried in a survival vest with the shroud hook blade open and the main blade locked shut.

Third link in post #6.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=685080

Paratroopers were issued single blade 'Presto' switchblade knives during WWII.
They were very high quality jigged bone handle knives made by Schrade.

http://freespace.virgin.net/martin.russell/m2knife.jpg

rc

herrwalther
July 27, 2013, 02:21 AM
Every deploying soldier these days is issued a Gerber multitool. I have three of them that I have been issued/found. They're crap, and the Army doesn't expect to get them back. It's pretty much a disposable item. Some units in the past bought things like auto knives for deployment, but those were the days when the money was fast and loose. The money well was dried up pretty good on my last deployment.

When I transferred units this last time, they asked for my 2 Gerber multi-tools back. Probably for re issue to whoever replaced me on the line. I only handed over one and was billed for the other. Although I think I found some in a trunk the other day.

It is actually a written order for certain US forces that they are not allowed to carry "conspicuous" (large) knives. I'm pretty sure it was the 3rd Army orders I saw that said this.

Would hate to be in those units. The only "rule" we had overseas was more of a common sense statement than an order: the knife could not extend past our knee. Yup that had to be said. I typically had a full size Kabar hanging off my left side. Now for stateside, all our knives must be folders or short enough fixed blades so they go under the uniform. Sort of like carrying a concealed handgun but for a knife.

Speedo66
July 29, 2013, 03:31 PM
This is a WWII German paratroopers out the front pocket knife. In addition to the main blade, there is a fold out marlin spike for rope work. The lever on the side is pushed forward to release and then lock the main blade in place. Press the lever again with the blade up, and the blade slides back into the handle. No spring, it operates on gravity.

rklessdriver
July 29, 2013, 05:31 PM
I can only speak from 1994 to 2007 but in about 1995 while on deployment to Gitmo I was issued one of those all metal "US" multifunction folding knives... I still have it in my tackle box. I remember we all thought it was funny that we had to go down to supply and fill out an ECR card to get it.... They never asked for it back when we returned, so I hung on to it. Stayed in my foot locker the whole time anyway as I carried a Spyderco in my pocket everyday.

BTW I have one of those knives from WWII time frame that was my grandfathers... He kept it in his tackel box as well after his service..... My father said he had one issued as well (from Vietnam time frame) but didn't know what happened to his... too bad.. I cherish what I do have but would be nice to have all 3 of ours in my collection.

In the later 1990's we started getting issued the Gerber multi tools. Handy little addition to my trusty Spyderco. They were like GOLD the first few years.... I did have to return a number of them when checking out over the years but I alawys got a new one issed when I arrived at a new unit.

In 2003, I lat-moved out of the infantry into a Communications MOS. When I arrived to my new unit from school, I was issued a Gerber multi tool and I noticed that some of the antenna bags had the TL knife and linesman plier set in it (the ones that Brian Williams has a pic of).

I've trained with alot of foreign military over the years but never traded for any knives.. mostly rank insignias, name tapes, covers.... little, cheap and easy stuff to replace.... I did get a Thermal Mold magazine (for one of my Adventure Line mags) from a Canuk back in 1996 during an NATO joint training operation at Camp Lejeune... Man did he get the better of that deal....
Will

JShirley
July 29, 2013, 11:40 PM
Will,

Are you a 25 series? M just picked up a 25M MOS, to go with her 37F.

I'm a former 11C, 42A, now 92A waiting to pick up 38A...

John

Devonai
July 30, 2013, 01:45 AM
I was in an Army Guard Infantry unit for six years. We started to receive Gerber multi-tools about three years into my enlistment, right about the time we were transitioning from BDUs to ACUs. They weren't in the supply system, so the sergeant was just doing hand receipts and issuing them to the joes. By the time I ETS'ed that list had gone the way of Harry Houdini so I go to keep mine.

Prior to that, bladed weapons were tolerated depending on type, configuration, or the mood of your platoon sergeant. I was admonished for carrying an M7 bayonet even though Ka-Bars were OK. Ostensibly a Ka-Bar is a better fighting knife than the M7 except for the ability to mount it on a rifle (duct tape notwithstanding), so I chalked it up to conformity rather than function.

Beyond that, everyone had a folder of some sort. Benchmade, H&K, Spyderco, etc. I never heard anyone suggest that folders were somehow outside of the MTOE.

Mp7
July 30, 2013, 07:24 AM
This has been issued by the Bundeswehr for decades.

I have a dozen. They are great. easy to sharpen
and imagine a war without corksrew! :evil:

http://www.amazon.com/Original-Bundeswehr-German-Pocket-Knife/dp/B009V7NQ5O

kBob
July 30, 2013, 10:06 AM
I bought my dad one of the older Bundeswehr folders ages ago, that newer SWK version looks like it might be something I would want.

In the '70's and 80's the BW issued their Infantry at least a single edged fixed blade.....which THR will not let me post here because I have already posted the picture I have..... that was carried in a metal sheath. The one piece plastic grip shape was something of the of the "Viking-esqe" style grips of the WWII era SS and SA dress daggers. The blade was stainless steel and they were made by folks like the Kissing crane folks, the twins, and that nutty squirrel. I carried one for most of 74-75 as an 11 Bush beater in the US Army myself.

My unit wore our old fatigue shirts ( or jackets as they were called as opposed to the Field Jacket) with the tails out and cinched with a pistol belt when in garrison to make us look different than all the non Infantry in our area.....and sometimes blue ascots and sometimes helmet liners that many of us smoothed out the rough finish on, painted OD Green and polished......there were occasional fights when someone comment on our appearance and certain "adult" toys. Anyhow this odd dress, specifically the shirt tail out allowed me to simply wear the Kampf Messer BW Knife on my trouser web belt and stuff the sheath in my front right pocket for concealed carry when on other Kassernes or going to the movie or PX and such.

I also wore it while going through Basic Artillery officers Course and halfway through the Cannon Battery Officers course when it was stolen ( along with the FS knife I used to carry on armed patrols) from my car in front of my off post housing. I have since replaced the BW knife with one like it but it is just not the same as one carried in tight places n the past.

I have said it before, but a lockblade Buck 112 was the most common knife among Infantry in Germany in the early to mid 1970s, being carried in their little black snap closure pouches on the trouser belt. Airborne and Skeeter wing qualified folks often attached their wings to the leather flap, occasionally one would see the main portion of an expert marksmanship badge so attached and occasionally even driver "wheel" badges. One NCO I knew had an Army Diver badge on his.

Generally one guy in each squad in my unit had a TL 59 kit like shared above as squad equipment. The Demo kit knives (please lets not get into the pocket knife vs Demo knife thing, that is what we called them and they were issue in the platoon level demo kits and I got mine at Demo school at Velsek where it was called a demo knife) were prized but not near as common as the Buck 112. Quality switchblades were not uncommon under some commanders and absolutely forbidden by others.

Then there were the common non locking folders near every young man carried in those days as a handy tool.

But all that was ancient history.

-kBob

kBob
July 30, 2013, 10:26 AM
Speed66,

Our then obligatory ( or so it seemed) platoon Neo-Nazi in the early to mid 1970's in Germany carried one of those Falling Hunter knives most of the time. It got everyone's attention when he would snap his wrist and snap that blade out as it made quite a fuss. He also practiced letting it out very quietly against his thigh. They were neat but that marlin spike could get you if you did not look out and could get caught on gear and stuff on occasion. The one handed opening made it useful, but most of us practiced flicking our Buck 112s or pinch opening them.

There was another FJ knife that some said was post war and others completely fake, and one German vet I knew claimed had been offered to his unit in late 1944. It was flatter and had black scales pinned on and a small door over the opening for the blade. It also made a pleasing racket when whipped open. I carried one for a bit when a new Company commander announced sheath knives in garrison where a big, as in Article 15, No-no. Mine had the grips cracked and so was wrapped in old style cloth electricians tape. The blade was no where near the quality I expected and I carried it for novelty as much as anything else. Of course it got "willed" to a buddy (no bad connotations for that title then)when it came time to go stateside and I understand he did the same when he left a year later.

-kBob

Al Thompson
July 30, 2013, 11:07 AM
Airborne and Skeeter wing qualified folks often attached their wings to the leather flap

Holy cow, I'd forgotten that detail. :eek: Brings back memories of dog chains helping blouse your boots, painting your ear plug cases and other assorted silliness from back in the day. :D

W.E.G., we ordered "pocket knives" for issuing to our guys and got those orange switchblades. This was in a mech Infantry battalion about 1985 or so. So they were in the system.

IIRC, Jumpmasters were required to have a knife in case of a hung jumper. Only one I recall seeing was an AF Survival knife strapped to a Jumpmaster's calf.

kBob
July 30, 2013, 11:40 AM
Ha! We used to wrap tape around our ear plug cases, the cylinder types with a screwed on cap on one end and the cap connected to the bottom via a black dogtag like chain. We wore them on an epilat of the Field jacket or either the top button hole of the Blouse in summer or one of the pocket flap holes depending on the whims of the CO. Our unit had a distinctive epilat slide and no unit crest. The cloth slide featured equal width strips of red green and red and the electrical tap in the motor pool worked perfectly to tape the earplug cases.

One guy I knew carried a single edged razor in his ear plug case as it "beat not having a knife for chores" if he lost his regular blade. See on topic.

-kBob

JShirley
July 30, 2013, 11:47 AM
kbob, if you've already posted a picture here, you can link to it in a current thread. You can either link to the image, or have the actual image appear by using the code [-i-m-g]address of picture[-/-i-m-g-]. (Take out the hyphens, of course.)

John

Willie Sutton
July 30, 2013, 01:07 PM
"Did the US ever really issue those orange-handled el-cheapo switchblades to paratroopers?"

Dunno about paratroopers but definately for aircrews. In fact there's one in the knife-pocket of my flightsuit I am flying with later *today*, with the hook blade open and the switchblade blade taped shut with black tape and a folded 'tab' of tape there so I can pull the tape off with gloves. The thing has a six inch streamer of yellow nylon tape sewn to the bail, with a 3/8 inch diameter hole heat-seared into the webbing. That webbing comes up out of the pocket and the snap of the pocket snaps down THRU the hole in the tape, leaving a 3 inch yellow webbing "tail" sticking up out of the pocket. Pull on that and it unsnaps the pocket and pulls out the knife. Naturally the entire thing is attached to my flightsuit with a four foot long "idiot string" rubber banded into a bundle and also pushed down into the pocket.... can't lose the cheap switchblade... :o

Nowadays "they" (the USN) generally issue a fixed blade hook knife that is rigged the same way.

(Segue: I have never seen a USAF pilot with anything at all in their flightsuit or G suit knife pocket, BTW, nor have I ever seen a USAF pilot who even knows what the pocket is even for, probably because they are not afraid of drowning after being strangled by their parachute shroud lines in the water....).

Even so, I just carry my old hook-switchblade "because it's an old friend" and as a contractor nobody really cares what I carry. (I also carry a Randall "Fireman" on my torso harness in a pocket that was supposed to accept the el-cheapo Camillis "aircrew survival knife", but that's another story). As`far as "pocket knives" there's a silver-handled Camillis 4 blade "boy scout knife" utility folder also stashed in every torso harness that I've ever seen... just to the side of the day/night flare and a little to starboard of the pencil flare launcher. I think it's right on top of the mirror. Everything is tied in with a 4 foot idiot-string... Many of the guys carry a private-purchase utility folder either in a partially zipped leg pocket or in their boot-top as well, mostly for being able to cut webbing "post impact" to extricate oneself from harnesses, etc. When you are strapped in, getting your hands on much of anything "up high on the body" is nearly impossible. Many versions carried... that's all just personal gear. Mine is a Benchmade auto, can't remember the exact model.



Willie


.

rklessdriver
July 30, 2013, 02:16 PM
Will,

Are you a 25 series? M just picked up a 25M MOS, to go with her 37F.

I'm a former 11C, 42A, now 92A waiting to pick up 38A...

John

John-
My last MOS was 0659 (Data Chief) USMC. I left active duty in 2007.

I do know what your talking about with the Army MOS designators.... as I spent some time in the Army National Guard. While not as varied as yours, I did manage to have a pretty varied military career.

USMC 0331 1994-1998
ANG 11B 2000-2003
USMC 0651 2003-2007
USMC 0656 2007

Will

JShirley
July 30, 2013, 02:27 PM
Will,

I see you've been around, too. :D

I think 0659 = 25U.

John

Dirty Bob
July 31, 2013, 12:15 AM
In the Navy we were not issued knives as surface sailors, but a lot of us carried them. Mine was a Gerber LST in my right hip pocket. If you've ever put on a Navy "kapok" and jumped into the water with it on, you find that those crotch straps are too tight to be allowed to stay in place while you're floating there after going in. Unfortunately, wet straps are hard to undo, especially if you're tired, cold, scared, so I kept my little Gerber sharp and handy, just in case.

All my best,
Dirty Bob (former tin can sailor)

Willie Sutton
July 31, 2013, 01:36 AM
^^ that works well until you need to sleep... or become unconcious due to hypothermia. Then you slip down out of your kapok and drown..... :o

There's a reason the Navy uses a crotch strap on it's PFD's.

Cutting your crotch strap is suicide in cold water. You might as well cut your throat.


Back to knives now...


Willie


.

wideym
July 31, 2013, 05:34 AM
I always lost out when supply was issuing Gerber multitools during my time in Iraq, but I did get the supply sgt to to issue me a Benchmade switchblade though.

rklessdriver
July 31, 2013, 12:14 PM
Will,

I see you've been around, too.

I think 0659 = 25U.

John


John,
Not really.

0659 is a follow on MOS once you reach E-6/SSGT. There are a few "feeder" MOS's (I was an 0651 but also 0656's and 0653's) that that turn into 0659's when we get promoted to the SNCO ranks. Because the feeder MOS's are very specalized in work scope the Marine Corps has a follow on school for 0659's in 29 Palms CA that covers all the feeder MOS's.

It's more of a supervisor MOS of the Data Platoon in Communications as there is only (1) 0651 by Table or Organization in each Platoon and he is resposible for all the 0651/0656/0653's in the platoon.

Will

JShirley
July 31, 2013, 12:23 PM
Gotcha. I thought they might be similar, because the Uniform is the "super 25 series" (except Mike: that's an illustrator). I was assigned to a battalion of 25-series trainers, 3-108, in Augusta when I first got back into a TPU.

John

MikeJackmin
August 2, 2013, 02:32 PM
I have read that one purpose of those orange-handled switchblades was to allow a pilot to puncture an accidentally-inflated flotation device, if it opened in the narrow confines of the cockpit. No idea how true any of this is of course.

I can say that they are remarkably poor knives, I've handled a few and none would open reliably - the blade tends to bounce back and escape the locking mechanism.

bubba in ca
August 4, 2013, 05:32 PM
In the 2 field units I was in in Vietnam we were not allowed to have knives or bayonets or hand grenades for fear we might kill somebody. I carried a SAK, which was quite handy, until a junkie stole it while we were on a weapons cleaning duty in a warehouse. From then on I got cheaper SAKs that were easier to replace.

At one time I saw a usaf pilots knife that somebody had and I vaguely remember the Sargent on our APC having a machete, but we used the APCs for brush clearing.

A knife of some sort is a great field tool, but subject to company politics. It would be unimaginable for the Army to issue knives to line troops, cost plus politics.

JTQ
August 10, 2013, 10:39 AM
rcmodel wrote,
Yes, they did issue the MC-1 switch-blade knife, but to pilots & air crews as survival knives, not paratroopers though.

They were carried in a survival vest with the shroud hook blade open and the main blade locked shut.

The Strategic Air Command (SAC) flight crews carried them in a left leg knife pocket in their flight suits with the hook blade open. The stories that floated around the life support training was the knife was supposed to have the hook blade as the spring actuated blade. My issue knife was a Camillus product. It wasn't great, but it worked fine.

Lone Star
August 19, 2013, 10:32 PM
I can speak from my and my son's experiences.

I was a USAF cop in the 1960's and was never issued a knife. I think our personnel in SE Asia were provided with M-7 bayonets. I provided my own. I carried an I*XL scout knife (bought from Randall) in my parka or flight jacket and a Swiss Army Spartan in my right trousers pocket. Those were all I had on duty. We couldn't carry sheath knives stateside, but I bought a Gil Hibben (then called Ben-Hibben) Jungle Fighting Knife in case I was sent to Vietnam. I had a Randall Model 3 with the usual leather handle and a Buck Pathfinder Model 105 and a Solingen - made (Bavarian pattern) knife by Anton Wingen (Othello marked) for hunting and fishing while off duty. I still have the Othello knife and the scout knife by I*XL. The Buck was lost or sold as was the Randall, but replaced ASAP. The Hibben was also sold to pay college expenses. Thankfully, I now have ample knives.

My son did three tours in Iraq in the Army as both infantry and as an artillery fire control specialist, and as a division staffer. In the latter capacity, he often led raids looking for senior Iraqi officials and also escorted and advised dignitaries and media personnel.

I offered him a Fallkniven S-1 with the black Ceracoated blade. I thought it would prove effective as a multi use knife with combat capability, if needed, and small enough to conceal, if required. He took it as a gift, but decided that it was too nice and too expensive to risk in a combat zone, where an aggressive commander or customs bureaucrats might have it confiscated. He took instead a Camillus-made "K-Bar" USMC knife, a Leatherman tool, and carried a cheap Chinese one-handed folder on the last tour, where he was a security contractor. Someone he knew passed out some, and he cherishes it for nostalgic reasons. His EDC now (out of the Army) is a Benchmade with a four-inch (?) tanto blade, with which he defended himself from an attack by a large coydog. The dog ran off after being stabbed as it went for his throat, but was probably mortally wounded.

He was often in very heavy fighting and had to resort to a pistol at times, but was glad that he never had the enemy get so close as to require use of a knife. But the Ka-Bar was there, if needed, and a comfort.

I think many commanders now frown on the carrying of large sheath knives, outside of the elite special ops people. I believe some of this is due to pressure from liberal social values and a desire by commanders to avoid any injuries that would damage their safety records. There are also ethnic/demographics reasons that I'm afraid to address on most message boards. And many commanders come from liberal areas where knife laws are strict or have gone to public schools where they "learned" that even basic pocketknives are evil.

I know of an El Salvadoran soldier in Iraq whose unit was all killed by insurgents and he was out of ammo. He drew a lockblade folder and charged the advancing enemy, killing and wounding several and routing them. For this , he received the El Salvadoran equivalent to the Medal of Honor. Some of you may have seen a photo of him on the Net, showing him displaying that knife. I couldn't determine the brand. It looked to have about a four-inch blade, a spear or drop point shape. There was (if memory serves) a large brass or nickle silver forward bolster. This is the only case that I have personally encountered of a knife being used in battle recently, but I may well have missed some, and some may never be reported.

For over 30 years, I wrote professionally about knives, for cutlery magazines.
One day, I was in the late G.W. Stone's shop interviewing the custom maker for a profile story. He showed me a letter from a Special Forces guy in Vietnam who said that he took off the head of a VC soldier with one hard whack of his Stone Model A, with either a seven or eight-inch blade; I forget which. I'm sure there are unpublicized combat uses of the knife in most wars.
But by far the most common use of a military knife is in normal utility roles.

For the record, if I was able to carry whatever I wanted in a combat zone today, it'd probably be a Fallkniven A-1 and a Victorinox pocketknife, either a Spartan, the older Swiss Soldier knife with silver Alox scales, or a Bundswehr knife of the sort once made for Germany by Vic. and a number of other contractors. Someone posted a link to see one of those on Amazon.com. See the above posts. Actually, I'd want that Bundeswehr folder in a jacket pocket and the Spartan or former Vic. Soldier on my person. If I couldn't afford a Fallkniven or a Randall Model 5 or 14, I'd want a Buck Model 119. The brightly polished pommel and guard might prove too reflective, but tape can cover those parts in a combat zone.

In a conversation with a Gerber PR man, he mentioned that they sell a lot of their Applegate-Fairbairn folders to troops in Afghanistan. Some carry them in pouches on their vests. I like them a lot, too, but mine came so dull that I had a custom knifemaker reprofile the edge bevels and hone them.

Sam Cade
August 19, 2013, 11:00 PM
liberal


That word doesn't mean what you think it means.


I know of an El Salvadoran soldier in Iraq whose unit was all killed by insurgents and he was out of ammo.

Samuel Toloza in 2004.

http://www.badassoftheweek.com/images/772104728894/toloza.jpg

hso
August 19, 2013, 11:12 PM
I believe some of this is due to pressure from liberal social values

More likely,a desire by commanders to avoid any injuries that would damage their safety records, and never had the enemy get so close as to require use of a knife., and in the modern mobile warfare larger knives on LBE get hung up easily in the vehicle when speed is of the essence exiting and getting into the fight/pursuit.

John and a couple of others who actively served in Iraq and Afghanistan have talked about the utility of a good folder and an under 5" fixed blade vs. the problems 5"+ fixed blades represented.

Lone Star
August 19, 2013, 11:18 PM
Sam-

Thanks. That is the photo to which I referred. I see that the knife has a clip point instead of the spear shape that I remembered. Thanks for the photo.
Toloza seems to have used it well.

Possibly I should have said Politically Correct instead of "liberal." Is that your point?

Also, I have seen your board name elsewhere. Was Sam Cade the name of the sheriff played by Glenn Ford on a TV show? I think the name may have been, "Cade's County". I think he was in northern CA.

And as long as you're here...is the red paint on some machete blades just a protective coating, and is it intended to remain there after sale, or cleaned off before use? I much enjoy your machete posts and the links to your articles on that subject.

BTW, re Toloza's gallantry, I think it is a sad thing that the US media almost ignores our allies in battle. About all I hear on the news is when Prince Harry kills some Taliban. Most members probably know that he is a combat helicopter pilot, and there is also a video of him manning a machinegun on the ground in Afghanistan. He seems to carry not only a Browning 9mm pistol, but one of those bullpup rifles the UK uses. I saw a video of him with the rifle on the wall of his quarters and one of him with it in his helicopter.

Oh: we forgot to mention that Ghurka troops are still isssued khukris or whatever the current spelling is. This holds, I believe, for both the remaining Ghurkas in the British Army and those in the Indian and Nepalese forces. There's a video on YouTube showing some parade where Ghurka troops in the UK were dancing with their khukris, twirling them. I worried that one would lose a thumb, or worse.

rcmodel
August 19, 2013, 11:22 PM
have talked about the utility of a good folder and an under 5" fixed blade vs. the problems 5"+ fixed blades representedIt was no different in 1968-69-70.

A belt knife was used 99.99999% more of the time for chopping cammo brush, or opening C-Rat cans then for fighting.

An ax or machete worked better for chopping brush & clearing fire lanes.

A P-38 can opener or SAK worked better for opening C-Rat cans.

A Buck 110 folder, or 119 belt knife worked better then anything else I found or could afford at the time.
And weighed little of nothing on an already overloaded pack harness.

And a SAK could clean your fingernails, pull splinters, and pick your teeth clean of those nasty C-Rat mystery meat fragments!!

Don't try that with your 7" or 8" Randell Model 1 fighting knife!!

rc

JShirley
August 19, 2013, 11:24 PM
Yup.

And Spyderco will hopefully be bringing out towards the end of the year a knife Sam and I worked on while I was on my last deployment. It was specifically designed to address the most common close-range threat a US service member in Iraq or Afghanistan is likely to face: sexual assault. It's a very small fixed blade in non-rusting H1 steel, so it can be worn in the shower.

John

rcmodel
August 19, 2013, 11:31 PM
most common close-range threat a US service member in Iraq or Afghanistan is likely to face: sexual assaultGeeze!

What has the military come too!!

Back in the day, that would have resulted in a Blanket Party in the middle of the night, involving a whole bunch of good guys, a whole bunch of OD green boot socks, and a whole bunch of bars of soap & pocket change!!

And a whole bunch of moaning from the offenders bunk the rest of the night & into the next day sometime!

rc

Sam Cade
August 19, 2013, 11:39 PM
Possibly I should have said Politically Correct instead of "liberal." Is that your point?


The word you are looking for is "Statist".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statism



Also, I have seen your board name elsewhere. Was Sam Cade the name of the sheriff played by Glenn Ford on a TV show? I think the name may have been, "Cade's County". I think he was in northern CA.

I use the same name on TFL and very infrequently on Bladeforums. Sam Cade is actually my (first and middle) name. ;)

The Glen Ford Series:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066635/






And as long as you're here...is the red paint on some machete blades just a protective coating, and is it intended to remain there after sale, or cleaned off before use?

For the sake of organization, I'm going to copy-paste your question over to the Machete thread and answer it there.;)

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=723835&page=5


I much enjoy your machete posts and the links to your articles on that subject.
Thanks! :D

I'll have another one up in a couple days, also a couple other knife work outs.

JShirley
August 20, 2013, 01:03 AM
rc, you misunderstand. The threat is at least as likely to come from Third Country Nationals (TCNs) or Local Nationals (LNs) as it is US forces*. I even know of cases where Allied troops have been the ones raping- for a while, the Romanian security forces on Kandahar seemed to kidnap and rape someone every holiday. No, I'm not joking.

Further, rapists are going to catch a lot more than a beat-down if they're caught.

*all US bases have a large number of TCNs working on base. Kandahar, for instance, has thousands.

John

rcmodel
August 20, 2013, 01:07 AM
I see!

Said the blind man!!

rc

JShirley
August 20, 2013, 01:15 AM
In a lot of the world, people don't think in terms of "gay", "straight", or "other": they take whatever's available. Thus, the Active Resistance Knife, meant to slash the bejesus out of a would-be rapist in the shower.

John

rcmodel
August 20, 2013, 01:35 AM
Third Country Nationals (TCNs) or Local Nationals (LNs) as it is US forces*.Mmmm?

Stay out of the shower with the TCN's or LN's then??

Or do they just come running through the showers raping & pillaging when no other U.S. troops are around, and a single lone U.S. troop is taking a shower by him or her self??

I guess I still don't understand the way U.S. wars are conducted anymore???

rc

Gordon
August 20, 2013, 01:54 AM
Me neither RC, glad I won't be around much longer and my kids are too old to serve.

Coop45
August 20, 2013, 02:15 AM
John,
Not really.

0659 is a follow on MOS once you reach E-6/SSGT. There are a few "feeder" MOS's (I was an 0651 but also 0656's and 0653's) that that turn into 0659's when we get promoted to the SNCO ranks. Because the feeder MOS's are very specalized in work scope the Marine Corps has a follow on school for 0659's in 29 Palms CA that covers all the feeder MOS's.

It's more of a supervisor MOS of the Data Platoon in Communications as there is only (1) 0651 by Table or Organization in each Platoon and he is resposible for all the 0651/0656/0653's in the platoon.

Will
What do we call 0369's?

JShirley
August 20, 2013, 07:43 AM
rc,

Most of the US has accepted a certain ethical code. Obviously not every TCN is a pillaging rapist ( :rolleyes: ), but TCNs are everywhere, and not all of them have similar ethical/moral codes to US forces. Maybe you also missed the part where I mentioned Romanian forces kidnapping and raping US troops- the last one I'm aware of was a male US AF major.

Understanding "how US wars are conducted" really has nothing to do with controlling the many thousands of individuals on bases who can be dangerous, as people can.

John

kBob
August 20, 2013, 09:43 AM
rc mentioned brush clearing with a sheath knife.

The one real "SOG knife" I got to use had the curved spine sharpened for use as a hand scythe. It was very useful for removing small amounts of brush when approaching a clear area at the crawl. It was somewhat shorter than most of the later post VN knives made by whomever and not that well finished with brass bits dull and leather handle washers of various consistency. Also not one makers mark or such anywhere on it.

I got in hot water on 1981 in Germany for allowing my troopies in the commo section to carry the "USAF Survival Knife" in its sheath in the field. This was the same section I got in trouble for letting use low poser scopes on M-16A1s on. These kids were expected to work in two man teams out alone as wire dawgs between units and up to nine klicks from our HQ Battery.

Only sex I knew of in GI showers in the mid 1970's was when women first started being intergrated into Pershing and a pair of girls were turning tricks in a shower at Graff. They did so much bad for their sisters in arms by being everything the nay sayers predicted and worse. Same pair tried to come out to a Combat Alert Site where women were forbidden and stay at a local Gastehaus to turn tricks. When one of the kids of the owners of the Gastehaus approached me about the problem I was so embarrassed I could hardly speak. Let me also say that some of the women in that experiement were great, even soldier of the quarter quality troopers,.....but everyone there will remember the girls that were for hire and girls that gave favors for promotions and such.

I was approached by Homosexuals twice in GI latrines in Europe in the mid 1970's but these were not assaults and they went away when rebuffed, both were not Army but USAF folks BTW.

Only other thing remotely like sex in the showers with me personally was one Saturday morning finding a local prostitute that had been smuggled into one of the four man rooms in our barracks Friday night calmly taking a shower while one of my room mates and I did so as well. Everyone was polite and just showered.

Later as an Officer I had the problem of shared showers. I never heard of a physical assault but a good bit of peeping. My women had to use the same shower as my men as they lived in the upstairs area of the barracks. Oddly a supported unit occupied the lowest floor and made no real effort to segregate the women's rooms from the men's. When I arrived the solution to the shower problem was a reversible sign that said "Women Only" on one side and "Men Only" on the other. Some wags got great pleasure from reversing the sign, which ever way it was in the hope of an embarrassing situation or as an excuse to peep. This eventually lead to the posting of the assistant CQ as a guard to insure segregation of bathers and to my "finding" a way for the women to have their own shower, I had two shower stalls installed where the Urinals had been( and where before I did it, the gurlz refferred to them as ash trays in those smoking allowed in barracks days) in the latrine they used on their floor.

Anyway no neck knives were needed in the showers that I knew of back in prehistory.

Sounds like a command/leadership problem and folks higher up should be made aware of the issues and higher until something is done.....even if it means restricted shower times and an armed guard on duty.

-kBob

hso
August 20, 2013, 10:11 AM
RC,

It really is completely different than your experience allows you to imagine. Bases are much like small (or not so small) cities with U.S., foreign allies, contractors, local and third country national workers. The larger the base the greater the mix and dependence on contractors and TCNs and LCNs. Operations run 24/7 and people are on those schedules. Assaults and rapes are terrifyingly common since internal security is not high and the American public is hardly even aware of the problem. John has written about it here in THR/NFW and I've added that it is a concern for the civilian contractor personnel as well where these conditions exist. You don't have to be female to be a victim of these assaults either. Think more "prison" conditions than what you're used to.

Stay out of the shower with the TCN's or LN's then??
They're not showering with them. There's no security for shower facilities (and damn little internal security at all) and walking to/from or using a shower or toilet or just down an unlit roadway makes you very very vulnerable to these attacks. My company instituted a mandatory buddy system where no one left the office or CHU after dark without someone with them. That was the best we could do for our employees officially. Unofficially I had my SO provide a list of small inexpensive neck knives that could be locally purchased or ordered so our people had something to use as a tool to defend themselves. It is a different world than you imagine it might be.

JShirley
August 20, 2013, 11:45 AM
Bob,

I'm not certain how attacks by foreign nationals are a leadership problem. Also not sure how you'd find the manpower to post an armed guard on hundreds of different shower facilities on the larger bases. Bases run 24-hr ops, and it's not practical to restrict shower times (though most places will have designated cleaning times).

John

herrwalther
August 20, 2013, 10:47 PM
most common close-range threat a US service member in Iraq or Afghanistan is likely to face: sexual assault

Ah to be in a unit that only allows one gender. At least for the next few years anyway.

We had a female PRT (provincial reconstruction team) officer with us on my most recent tour. She was showering in one of the shower trailers (we went high tech) when a LN contractors (local national) pulled open the door, lock and all. Thankfully, she took my advice/paranoia and was showering with her pistol nearby. No shots fired and he was transferred the next day to somewhere else with the mark on his record. We only had at most 3 females on the base at any given time so they had an hour of designated female hygiene time. Works on small bases, will never work on large ones.

JShirley
August 20, 2013, 11:20 PM
Males raped in theater outnumber females raped, at least in the service branches. Can't speak for contract personnel. Also, that's "sex": gender is attitude, while sex is biology. Yes, it's usually mis-used, because people are used to abbreviating "sexual intercourse" as "sex". :rolleyes:

John

mdauben
August 21, 2013, 11:59 AM
Sounds like a command/leadership problem and folks higher up should be made aware of the issues and higher until something is done.....even if it means restricted shower times and an armed guard on duty.

I think "higher" is well aware of the problem. I can't comment first hand on what the situation is like living on-base (CONUS or OCONUS) but I do know that the Army is heavily invested in programs to curb sexual assault for both the active duty and civillian workforce.

JShirley
August 21, 2013, 04:27 PM
I think "higher" is well aware of the problem

Yup. There is a renewed focus on preventing sexual assault, after the 2012 metrics showed a dramatic increase of reported sexual assaults committed against service members.

Part of the problem, though, is that talking about rapes committed by TCNs and allied militaries- which I haven't seen done by US leaders, anywhere- opens a whole new public issue that the most senior leadership just does not want to address. I would guess that it's better business to deal with the occasional rape than alienate allied militaries, and it seems talking about TCN-committed rape is just not going to happen. :fire:

John

herrwalther
August 21, 2013, 08:29 PM
Yup. There is a renewed focus on preventing sexual assault, after the 2012 metrics showed a dramatic increase of reported sexual assaults committed against service members.

A little bit too much focused on the problem. Like the 7 hour video on suicide prevention. To quote one of my soldiers "the only time I contemplated suicide was watching the suicide prevention video on a bus ride from Ft Drum." But military policy is off topic.

hso
August 21, 2013, 08:55 PM
Yep

Let's get back on the original topic.

Torian
August 21, 2013, 09:29 PM
I wasn't issued anything aside from a Gerber after spending time in Iraq and Afghanistan. When on patrols in Afghanistan, I absolutely felt like I needed a knife that would be quickly accessible on my kit. I used my own funds and purchased an ESEE 3 MIL. Great knife, and comes with a MOLLE compatible hard sheath and glass-breaker pommel. I loved it...but lost it in an IED.

http://www.eseeknives.com/esee-3-mil.htm

I never heard about any rules that you couldn't carry a knife, and if I did see such memo, I would probably have "forgotten it" shortly thereafter.

We also saw this rational over there when it came to the types of magazines we were using for our M4s. Some people, like myself, brought our own PMAGs to use instead of the crappy issued aluminum ones (frequently caused malfunctions). The CoC tried to keep us from using our own PMAGs...for reasons they couldn't articulate when confronted about it (all the SF guys working adjacent to us were using PMAGs too).

I don't have a lot of patience for REMFs who justify their existence in a combat zone with this type of nonsense.

P.S. we always posted a guard at the showers when the females were there. Out in the boondocks though, the only females we had were FET and some cooks. We were definitely not in FOBBIT land.

:D

kBob
August 22, 2013, 05:00 PM
Nice knife and a heck of a way to loose it. Hope you are doing OK and lost not much more than the knife.

Thanks for being there.

-kBob

Torian
August 22, 2013, 09:15 PM
Nice knife and a heck of a way to loose it. Hope you are doing OK and lost not much more than the knife.

Thanks for being there.

-kBob
Thanks KBob.

Nothing more than some broken bones, TBI, and a blown out eardrum. Considering the blast was estimated at 15000 pounds of HME (coverted fuel tanker), the largest in GWOT history, it could have been worse!

I count my blessings every day since then. If you're interested, here's a video of the blast that the bad guys posted on liveleak shortly afterwards (main blast 2:12):

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1c8_1362739998

JShirley
August 22, 2013, 09:45 PM
Good god.

Where was this? What unit were you in at the time?

I'm used to big explosions, but 35 lbs of Composition B isn't in the same arena as tons of ANFO.

John

Sam Cade
August 22, 2013, 10:06 PM
That is just.....

Wow.


Note to self, buy Torian a beer.

ugaarguy
August 22, 2013, 10:32 PM
Torian, I'm speechless. Thank you for your service.

Torian
August 22, 2013, 10:38 PM
Good god.

Where was this? What unit were you in at the time?

I'm used to big explosions, but 35 lbs of Composition B isn't in the same arena as tons of ANFO.

John

Thanks guys...just another volunteer here.

To answer a few questions:

JShirley, the BOOM occurred in Sayedabad District, Wardak Province, RC-E, in early September 2012. At the time, I had deployed out of 4-1 AD Ft. Bliss in June of that year, and was in Sayedabad an Adviser and Trainer (SFAAT) for Afghan Forces. My team was attached to 2-503 BN, 173 BDE.

If you can believe it, we didn't lose any people even though we had close to 100 wounded. The Afghans weren't so lucky.

Sam, I would gladly drink a beer with you, especially if you are buying.

Lone Star
August 22, 2013, 11:36 PM
Some of what I read here before the topic got back on course was just appalling. Some of you guys no longer in the military should write a magazine article about that. Maybe even a book. I bet it'd sell. When I was in the USAF, I NEVER heard of any such events. Rapes, yes, but conventional ones, addressed as such.

Back on topic, my favorite tear-jerker military knife story involves my son loaning his Randall Model 14 to another guy. An alert sounded and the convoy took off before he could recover his knife. The jerk who borrowed it said that in the confusion, he'd left it on top of a departing vehicle, and it was lost somewhere back on the road. Someone found a free Randall knife!

That's one reason why he was later reluctant to carry an expensive knife in a battle zone. Not that I think anyone asked to borrow Gen. Westmoreland's Randall in Vietnam...:D (If you didn't see it in news photos then, he had a Randall Model 1 with a white handle, maybe ivory. In WW II, Gen. Gavin wore a Randall while leading the 82nd Airborne in battle. I've seen photos of him also lugging an M-1 rifle as well as his .45. He was evidently a fighting general, if need be.)

herrwalther
August 23, 2013, 11:09 AM
15000 pounds of HME

That probably left an impressive hole. AAF in our area were not fond of IEDs at all, preferred to stand fighting instead. I think our worst one was fifty pounds of HME in a culvert that was CONDET. Had some fun with a 500 pound Russian UXO though. That was about it.

Lots of guys will spend insane amounts of money on a knife that will more than likely get lost/stolen/destroyed. I have seen it happen in every unit I have worked with or served in. An E-6 I deployed with brought a custom knife along that (he claims) cost him a grand, never used it, never even took it out of his box. Stolen in Pakistan while shipping out. Along with the rest of his equipment in that box. I had plenty of knives on my deployment but the most common one I carried (and still do) is a Smith and Wesson M&P MAGIC Assisted opening knife that runs about $35. If it breaks, gets lost, stolen it is only 35 bucks. Not that big of a deal.

JShirley
August 23, 2013, 11:58 AM
I had a classmate in BOLC who had a S&W she said she took everywhere with her. I gave her a new Endura, and told her to take it, instead. :)

HoosierQ
August 23, 2013, 12:33 PM
I have never had the privilege to serve in the armed forces.

I am really liking (with some key reservations) the Victorinox Soldier Knife. Too easy right! At first I was a little squimish about the partially serrated blade. Unlike so many, the serrations are at the tip and the plain part is at the riccasso. However I have grown to like this a lot. Victorinox did the serrations right. They are ground and placed perfectly for what I would assume a soldier would need to do a lot of: Cut through a zip tie, cut a packing strap, cut open tough packages, cut through fabric (like searching an overstuffed chair sort of thing).

What changes would I make? Significant. I like the main blade as noted above. The saw seems pretty useless to me. I would replace it with opposing sissors and one of the small Tinker blades. I would also add the tweezers. I think this is a real failing of the thing. I can't imagine that a soldier, serving anywhere, would not get splinters! If I had to give up the can opener I'd do so. Not sure how many cans soldiers open these days and even if they did, I much prefer the old M38 or whatever that little thing is that was the standard can opener for so long. I use one every day to open cans of soup and stuff at work. It is so much faster than the Victorinox can opener.

So take the Vic "Soldier Knife" swap out the saw and swap in a small, keen, fine blade and sissors...and for God's sake add tweezers...I think you'd have just about the perfect knife for somebody needed to keep weight and clutter down to a minimum.

Torian
August 23, 2013, 03:37 PM
Another problem that frequently prevents us from bringing good knives is that Customs can really hassle us on the way back to the states.

When my unit redeployed to the states from Iraq, about 10% of us had to completely empty all bags in front of a customs agent, and if he found anything he didn't like, such as a folder over 3.5 inches, anything with a clip point or double edge, or anything spring loaded / spring assisted, they would confiscate them.

I had some knives that I wanted to bring with me at the time, but was worried about losing them on the way back in. Customs can pretty much operate with unilateral authority in these matters...so if they decide they want to take something you are screwed.

HoosierQ
August 23, 2013, 03:50 PM
Another problem that frequently prevents us from bringing good knives is that Customs can really hassle us on the way back to the states.

When my unit redeployed to the states from Iraq, about 10% of us had to completely empty all bags in front of a customs agent, and if he found anything he didn't like, such as a folder over 3.5 inches, anything with a clip point or double edge, or anything spring loaded / spring assisted, they would confiscate them.

I had some knives that I wanted to bring with me at the time, but was worried about losing them on the way back in. Customs can pretty much operate with unilateral authority in these matters...so if they decide they want to take something you are screwed.
It just shocks me that our troops are treated this way! I get that there has to be some control but to let a bunch of customs folks basically steal from service personnel coming back is just a travesty! If these troops need to have their stuff searched so nobody has gone into the drug smuggling business or something then I say let the Army or Navy do the searching. But what do I know.

JShirley
August 23, 2013, 03:52 PM
You need an authorization letter to bring back automatics. It should list the NSN of the knife, and state that you used it in performance of your duties.

herrwalther
August 24, 2013, 01:52 AM
If you buy an automatic knife from a PX or BX, hold on to that receipt for dear life. I bought an Infidel at Bagram Airfield in 2010 and luckily it was one of the few receipts I held on to, at the time, as a memento. I slipped it into the box and thought nothing of it. Until it came time for the MP proctology exam. And it wasn't just 10%, it was everyone getting frisked. Took almost a week for our battalion to get all hand checked just to leave country. But I never needed a CO authorization letter. A few guys brought back antique firearms and I don't even want to ask the hoops they went through.

JShirley
August 24, 2013, 07:38 AM
The antique firearms are surprisingly easy. At Camp Phoenix in 2006, they had a nco stationed at a table next to the bazaar with the printed statements, ready to go.

John

Gordon
August 24, 2013, 10:13 PM
RC here is my public answer: In the 60s field army in RVN if turd party nationals were to kidnap a major and rape him an adequate sized force would be inserted into their AO (or should I say AH) and they would be terminated with extreme prejudice and survivors turned over to UN authorities in what ever condition was left of them. And that should end THAT subject.

JShirley
August 24, 2013, 10:21 PM
Gordon,

When this happened, there were over 1,000 Romanian soldiers in the KAF SECFOR. He knew his attackers were Romanian...and that's it. There's reality, and there's fantasy. In reality, Sam and I designed a knife meant to be carried at all times, even in the shower- an especially vulnerable time because firearms are left secured during showers.

John

Sam Cade
August 24, 2013, 10:45 PM
This thread has caused me to lose sleep. :uhoh:

JShirley
August 24, 2013, 10:53 PM
Try being out on a small "blackout base" at 2200...then walking into the shower trailer and seeing the "sexual assault prevention tips" posters.

lemaymiami
August 25, 2013, 09:18 AM
With a son in the armed forces, I'm very glad to have read this thread. I can think of one or two blades that might make pretty good gifts for anyone going overseas.

Dirty Bob
August 25, 2013, 01:37 PM
This thread has shown me that things are VERY different than when I served back in the "innocent" 80's.

A knife that I would choose for constant carry is some form of small neck knife...preferably in stainless. I really like the CRKT Ringer series, though they are out of production, it seems. I took the "hook" off the back. With a forefinger in the first hole, it can be used like a push dagger. This or some other small fixed blade could have its Kydex sheath safety-pinned into a uniform, skivvies, or a towel, as a final backup.

All my best,
Dirty Bob

JShirley
August 25, 2013, 05:14 PM
I'm hoping the ARK will be available towards the end of the year.

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